Former Justice Stevens changes mind on Kavanaugh

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the nation's highest court, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 1:35 PM
Updated: Oct 5, 2018 2:07 PM

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens suggested Thursday he believes Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should not sit on the nation's highest court.

Stevens said during an event in front of a small crowd that Kavanaugh's performance last week during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee caused him to change his mind about Kavanaugh's suitability for the court.

The retired Supreme Court justice said there is "merit" in the criticism that Kavanaugh "has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential (litigation) before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibilities."

"The senators should really pay attention to it for the good of the court," Stevens said. "It's not healthy to get a new justice that can only do a part-time job."

His comments were met by applause from the audience in Boca Raton, Florida. The Palm Beach Post first reported the comments.

"In this case," Stevens said, "there are enough people who've been put in categories for which he would be unable to sit as a judge."

Stevens, 98, served on the Supreme Court from 1975 until his retirement in 2010. President Gerald Ford nominated Stevens to the court. Stevens was a lifelong Republican but was considered liberal in his judicial rulings.

Kavanaugh and California professor Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Judiciary Committee on September 27 after Ford came forward with an allegation of sexual assault against the judge. The incident allegedly took place when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

In his testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh attacked Democrats and delivered the angriest partisan message heard from a Supreme Court nominee in modern times.

"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," Kavanaugh said at the hearing.

Stevens noted to the crowd Thursday that he has previously praised Kavanaugh. In his book, "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution," Stevens said, he included a description of an opinion Kavanaugh wrote in a section where the retired Supreme Court justice argues for reversing the court's Citizens United ruling. That ruling struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions, and Stevens wrote a lengthy dissent in response.

"I thought that (Kavanaugh) wrote a very persuasive opinion" on that subject, Stevens said, "and as a matter of fact I put his picture in the book to illustrate my admiration for it."

"At that time, I thought (Kavanaugh) had definitely the qualifications ... to sit on the Supreme Court and should be confirmed if he was ever selected," Stevens said Thursday.

He said he had changed his views for reasons that have "really no relationship to his intellectual ability or his record as a federal judge," and added that "he's a fine federal judge."

"But I think that his performance during the hearings caused me to change my mind," the retired Supreme Court justice said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57956

Reported Deaths: 2927
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10410429
Cuyahoga7883373
Hamilton6019198
Lucas2752302
Marion273438
Pickaway219741
Summit2143206
Montgomery203427
Mahoning1832232
Butler159944
Columbiana130760
Stark1123112
Lorain103567
Trumbull96770
Warren86021
Clark7669
Delaware58215
Fairfield57216
Tuscarawas56710
Belmont54922
Medina52332
Lake50018
Licking49312
Miami46631
Portage44258
Ashtabula43544
Wood42851
Clermont4146
Geauga40742
Wayne36351
Richland3455
Allen32141
Mercer2829
Greene2589
Darke25125
Erie24422
Holmes2363
Huron2202
Madison1978
Ottawa14923
Sandusky13614
Crawford1355
Washington13520
Putnam12815
Ross1273
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Coshocton1112
Auglaize1074
Monroe8917
Jefferson882
Union861
Muskingum831
Hancock791
Hocking788
Guernsey743
Preble731
Lawrence710
Williams712
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Athens591
Carroll593
Wyandot596
Brown571
Defiance513
Knox511
Fayette460
Highland451
Scioto410
Champaign401
Perry351
Van Wert350
Seneca342
Henry300
Paulding250
Adams241
Jackson230
Pike230
Vinton222
Gallia181
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Angola
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 81°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Hot Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events